Monday, February 18, 2013

Burberry Prorsum London Collections fall 2013

I must give credit where credit is due, so I will start with Rosemarie Bravo.  It is she who was given the task of reinventing and reimagining the sleepy ole brand of Burberry in 1997.  After the untimely departure of its first new blood designer, Roberto Menechetti,  Ms.  Bravo had the prescience to hire Christopher Bailey in 2001 and the rest as they say is fashion history.  For any of you who have not heard of these names, which I am sure will be most, use Google!

Try as I might, season after season, I cannot ever seem to wrap my head around the clothes from Burberry Prorsum.  I can rationally say that it is a brand  phenomenon but I can find no logic in the clothes themselves.  Yes, the plaid lined raincoat and the plaid itself has made them famous and has produced 100’s of millions of dollars and has served them well in categories from underwear to umbrellas and everything in between.

So, again,  I am here and have seen the collection and here is my assessment of fall 2013.  Burberry is first and foremost an outerwear company and Mr.  Bailey is proficient and prodigious when it comes to this category.  This season there are amazing riffs on the trench coat and amazing feats of modern fashion technology that allow and enable the manufacture of pieces such as the “fringed” coat and the grommeted pieces. 

My gut tells me that Burberry Prorsum is an outerwear and item resource for wildly extravagantly expensive status items.  The ready to wear lacks any sort of unique distinctive personality but it is in the “items” that one can be awed.  This year Mr. Bailey has thrown a focus on leopard and animal prints and I have more than high expectations that this will endlessly raise the aspirational value of the brand across all categories no matter the price not to mention the increased store sales.

The bottom line is very simple, Mr. Bailey has turned the sleepy brand into a retail juggernaut and had it not been for the telepathy of Ms. Bravo, the brand might still be marketing and surviving on a sole item … the plaid lined trench coat or even worse, it might have gone the way of so many other legendary brands that could not be reinvented or accepted by the retail community.

The take away is simple... great items, great outerwear and great accessories of all kinds and as far as the ready to wear … meh!

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